One thousand moldings in stock. Eight hundred matboard colors. Ten glazing options. An enormous supply of framing materials crowds the shelves at Denali Graphics & Frame's warehouse, with more options—including an additional 2,000 moldings—available by special order. With this vast selection at their fingertips, Denali's art experts can swiftly pair customers' photographs and paintings with frames carefully tailored to their size, shape, and hue.
The largest manufacturer and supplier of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint enables new-hue-craving customers to roll and brush fresh coats of luscious pigments onto formerly drab and dreary household surfaces. To reinvent interiors, several options await including the semigloss Wall Glow ($34.27/gallon) and the Velva Kolor ($30.59/gallon), with a less-reflective eggshell finish. Parker Paint also carries a selection of weather-scoffing exterior paints, such as the flat-finish Flextron 100 ($33.03/gallon) to help homeowners paint a realistic yet unflattering outdoor mural of the neighbors.
In 1965, Popular Mechanics ran a small classified ad for Brookstone, a new catalog company that packed its pages with functional products and detail-oriented descriptions. Brookstone quickly expanded to meet the high demand for its collection of “hard-to-find tools,” and opened the door to its first retail location in 1973. Today, Brookstone’s more than 300 nationwide retail locations allow customers to test-drive its ever-growing lineup of interesting products, which range from Bluetooth-enabled massage chairs to power adapters designed for international travelers and their electronic passports. Staying true to its roots as a catalog company, Brookstone houses an even larger selection of products, each waiting patiently to be shipped, on its website.
The warm staff at Sleep Comfort by Nerlands invites people to laze about a showroom boasting more 50 mattress sets on a quest to find the dreamiest dream pad. Utilizing the technology of the Sleep Metrics diagnostic system, the scholars of slumber match weary people with mattresses, including classic duos of foam mattresses ($215) and basic innerspring mattresses ($248) with box-foundation counterparts. The pocket coils of the queen-size Luxury model Simmons Beautyrest ($677–$887) offer snoozers a night of support and comfort akin to crowd surfing on an audience wearing cashmere oven mitts. As a purveyor of Boyd Natural Flex Latex mattresses, Sleep Comfort by Nerlands introduces allergy-suffering clients to this bacteria-resistant bedfellow and its unwavering resistance to dust mites. Knowing that a good night’s rest is important to physical and mental well-being, Sleep Comfort guarantees blissful slumbering for 60 nights.
Far North Yarn Co.'s skilled and seasoned instructors guide knitters of all ages through hands-on projects designed to accommodate all skill levels. A monthly schedule gets knitting needles clacking with classes instructing students on how to craft items such as a calorimetry headband ($30 value), whose elegant design both warms heads and prevents the escape of algebraic equations. A class on felted slippers equips knitters with the means to shuffle silently and stylishly, and students in the mock-cable-beanie class can tuck hair and ears into homemade comfort. Meanwhile, one-hour one-on-one private lessons ($15) give pupils individualized access to knitting senseis. All of Far North Yarn Co.'s classes require knitters to bring their own materials or buy them on-site. Material costs vary depending on class and style but can cost up to $60. The store’s wide inventory of yarns, tools, and books tempts hands with endless promises of knitted curios and houseboat cozies.
In the antique business since 1967, Duane Hill uses his experienced, discerning eye and his contacts from the world over to fill his 6,000-square-foot barn with well-cared-for antique home goods, art, and collectibles. He sorts through weekly shipments to augment the large furniture section, stocked with diverse styles such as mission oak, art deco, Victorian, and French furnishings. A visit to the store is rather like a treasure hunt—visitors browse thousands of items, including mirrors, china dishes, chairs, and rugs, and pause to gape at the near-mint condition of a centuries-old item or to scoop up a picture frame or vase that suits their style. The shop also carries rare Alaskan artifacts, including mammoth tusks, carvings, and art made from soapstone, baleen, ivory, and snowballs.A member of the International Society of Appraisers, Duane also does appraisals of customers' items, and his staff can expertly restore furniture to give old items new life.